Events coming up the next two weeks

There’s a lot going on, especially this weekend in the Des Moines area. I’ve posted event details after the jump, but please post a comment or send me an e-mail (desmoinesdem AT if you know of anything I’ve left out.

If $2,500 is burning a hole in your wallet, you can meet House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today (Saturday) at the fundraising luncheon for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee at Roxanne Conlin’s house in Des Moines. Representatives Bruce Braley, Dave Loebsack and Leonard Boswell are co-hosting the event. I am not giving to the DCCC until they graduate Boswell from the “Frontline” program for vulnerable incumbents. He is not threatened in 2010 and should pay his DCCC dues like the other safe Democratic incumbents.

I was amused by the boilerplate Republican cheap shot regarding Pelosi’s visit:

Republican Party of Iowa Executive Director Jeff Boeyink said he’s surprised any Iowa congressional Democrats would want to appear with her. […]

“We don’t think her values are Iowa values,” Boeyink said.

I guess Boeyink hasn’t seen recent nationwide polls showing Democrats still have a wide lead on the generic Congressional ballot. Since Iowa votes fairly closely to the national average, I’ll bet Republican House leaders are less in line with Iowa values than Pelosi.

UPDATE: Blog for Iowa reports on a National Republican Congressional Committee robocall using Pelosi’s visit to bash Congressman Dave Loebsack. If you live in the first or third Congressional districts and have received a similar call attacking Braley and Boswell, please post a comment or send me an e-mail.

Saturday, June 6

Senator Tom Harkin will appear at a National Forum on Health Reform hosted by AARP and Divided We Fail at 10:30 am in the North Liberty Recreation Center.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Leonard Boswell will appear at Hiatt Middle School (1214 E. 15th St in Des Moines) to discuss the impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on Iowa’s schools. Set-up starts at 1:45 pm.

There’s a Health Care Organizing Kickoff Event at a private home in West Des Moines at 1 pm. Click here for details.

From I’M for Iowa:

Really, Really Free Market

A huge, free yard sale the first Saturday of every month at Drake Park, 24th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue in Des Moines. It runs from 11:00 – 2:00, or so. People are invited to come and shop or bring things to donate. Face painting and kids’ crafts, too. Contact or visit

From the Iowa Environmental Council newsletter:

National Trails Day Ride – Wabash Warm-Up

June 6, Western Iowa

Ride from Malvern to Shenandoah in western Iowa’s Loess Hills. This National Trails Day ride is a fundraiser for the Wabash Trace, and also marks the 30th anniversary of Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and 20th year of the rail-banking of the Wabash Trace. Ride starts at 10 a.m. at Bowley’s Bistro, (formerly Latte Da), located on Main St. in Malvern, just off the trail. Ride 22 miles of gentle grade at your own pace on the way to the Depot Deli in Shenandoah, where there will be evening entertainment. Stops for interpretation, live music and refreshments. Bus transportation provided at 9 a.m. Sat. morning from Shenandoah to the start in Malvern. $10 minimum donation requested. Get more details at the BikeIowa website Look on the calendar at or contact Becca at 515-210-0269.

The Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield is hosting the 2009 Eco-Fair:

Put on your walking shoes or hop on your bike to get to the 9th Annual Eco-Fair June 6 & 7 at Maharishi University of Management.  This year’s Eco-Fair will take a look at the role of transportation and ways to get around car-centric mobility. The Eco-Fair will feature outstanding speakers, practical workshops, inspiring films, a pedestrian mall with vendors, an organized bike ride and the popular Eco-Jam fashion show and dance party.

The tradition of the MUM Eco-Fair began in 2001 with a student-driven desire to educate and inspire people about sustainable living. The 2009 Eco-Fair continues in that tradition, and this year features an emphasis on alternative sustainable transportation and community planning.

The 2009 Eco-Fair is brought to you by the students, staff, and faculty of the Maharishi University of Management. MUM affiliates have free admission. Regular admission is $25 for the entire weekend or $8 per event. For students with ID it’s $5 per event or $10 for the entire weekend. The fair is open to the public.

Contact Diana Yepez (641) 919-0201 for more information, or visit:

Sunday, June 7

The 2009 Eco-Fair continues at Maharishi University in Fairfield.

I learned from the Iowa Bicycle Coalition that there will be a bike ride in Des Moines to mark National Cancer Survivors Day:

Cancer survivors, caregivers, family members, friends and healthcare professionals will unite to show that life after a cancer diagnosis can be meaningful and productive.

The Greater Des Moines Area Livestrong Chapter is hosting the LIVESTRONG UNITE AGAINST CANCER RIDE JUNE 7TH., AT 8:00AM BEGINNING IN WATERWORKS PARK, and ending at PRINCIPAL BALL PARK, Des Moines Iowa to commemorate NCSD, and everyone is invited.

Call 515-720-0869 for more information.

A Gay Wedding Expo will take place from 5:30-8:00 PM at Top of the Tower, Downtown Holiday Inn, Des Moines. A portion of the proceeds go to One Iowa.

Tuesday, June 9:

June 9, 2009 7:00 PM

The Ames PFLAG Meeting will be at 7 pm at Youth and Shelter Services, Paul Room, 420 Kellogg Ave.

Wednesday, June 10:

From the Iowa Environmental Council newsletter:

Transforming Business: Ray Anderson

June 10, Des Moines

The third in a series of speakers on corporate sustainability, Ray Anderson is a global hero. Founder and Chairman of Interface Global and named TIME’s “Greenest CEO”, their Mission Zero campaign has saved over $300 million and counting for the company and catapulted them to the forefront of industrial ecology. Author of “Mid-Course Correction” with his new book out in September. Polk County Convention Complex at 6:00 PM. Cost $40/$50 at the door. Sponsored and introduced by Silent Rivers Design. To register, please visit

Submitted by Urban Ambassadors

Local Food Commerce Planning Workshop

June 10, Cedar Falls

Local government, school, and community leaders are invited to a statewide workshop to explore their role in expanding local food commerce through planning. The workshop will be held Wednesday, June 10, 8:30 a.m. 12 noon at the UNI Center for Energy and Environmental Education (CEEE). Presenters from Iowa cities, counties, and schools will share first-hand experience in local food planning. The event is free, but registration is required by emailing Kamyar Enshayan, director, CEEE, at  For more information, visit, News & Events.

Thursday, June 11:

Columnist Clarence Page will speak about marriage equality at the State Historical Museum Auditorium at 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines at 7 pm:

Page is the 1989 Pulitzer Prize winner for Commentary and has been a columnist and a member of the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board since 1984. He is a regular contributor of essays to “The News Hour with Jim Lehrer” and “News and Notes with Ed Gordon” on National Public Radio.

The event is free and open to the public. It is organized by I’M for Iowa and Marriage Equality USA (Iowa Chapter). The list of sponsoring organizations includes Interfaith Alliance of Iowa; One Iowa; Equality Iowa; Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (State Council of Iowa); Iowa Department of Human Rights – Division on the Status of African Americans; Progressive Coalition of Central Iowa; and, Des Moines Human Rights Commission.

The Culver-Judge Summer Party will raise money for  Governor Chet Culver’s re-election campaign. The event will take place from 7 to 9 pm at the All Play Forte Banquet and Conference Center, 615 3rd St in Des Moines. Tickets are $250 each. To RSVP, call 515-288-2287 or e-mail chris AT

A Queer Youth Discussion Group will meet at 6 pm at 515 28th St., Suite 106 in Des Moines. Contact One Iowa for more information.

Friday, June 12:

One Iowa’s Happy Hour is at 5:30 pm at Dos Rios, 316 Court Ave., Des Moines.

Saturday, June 13:

From the Iowa Environmental Council newsletter:

Iowa River Cleanup

June 13, Begins in Iowa City

“Take Me From the River,” an Iowa River Cleanup begins at 8 a.m., Saturday June 13 (Rain Date June 14). We need experienced canoe paddlers and jon-boat captains to participate in removal of trash left from recent flooding on the Iowa River. Canoes will be launched from the Iowa City Sturgis Ferry boat ramp on Old HWY 218 South at 8 am.  The length of the paddle is 9 miles and about 6 hours, landing at the Hills Access. The garbage will be unloaded from the canoes & boats at the Hills Access boat ramp.  Please contact Carol Sweeting for more information and to register for the “Iowa River Cleanup” event.  Phone: 319-356-5164; or e-mail: . Sponsored by: City of Iowa City, Johnson County Conservation, IDNR, Mid American Energy, Touch the Earth Outdoor Recreation and Education, Fin and Feather, and Durham School Services.

Iowa River Paddle & Picnic

June 13, Steamboat Rock

Celebrate the beauty and history of the scenic Iowa River. Join Iowa Representative Annette Sweeney and the Southfork Watershed Alliance on Saturday, June 13th for a community paddle and river program highlighting the conservation and water quality efforts taking place in the watershed, the recreational opportunities along the river and ways we can work towards enhancing the river conditions and water quality in the area. Registration starts at 10 a.m. in Steamboat Rock. Paddle participants will be shuttled to Eagle City to start the river tour at 11 a.m. River conditions will determine tour pace. The tour will end at the Boat Club in Steamboat Rock with a picnic and river program. The tour and program are free and open to the public and will take place rain or shine (rain cancels the tour only). Canoes, safety equipment and meals are available upon reservation and at no additional cost to participants. There is limited registration – RSVP with event coordinator as soon as possible. To RSVP or for more information, visit: or contact Dave Sweeney, event coordinator, 641-373-4340 (cell);

There are also some Capital City Pride Events scheduled in Des Moines on June 13 and 14. Contact One Iowa for more details or to volunteer.

There’s a benefit for Whiterock Conservancy in Coon Rapids from 6-9 pm:

All the way from Pittsburgh, PA, Gypsy Dave and the Stumpjumpers will be teaming up with Whiterock Conservancy and the town of Coon Rapids, IA to play some authentic American roots music that combines folk, bluegrass and country. So bring your family for a night of good music and celebration at Riverside Park. Free will donations are encouraged. Proceeds benefit Whiterock Conservancy’s restoration efforts in the Middle Raccoon River Watershed. Visit for more information.

Friday, June 19:

The Interfaith Alliance of Iowa is hosting its monthly Crossroads luncheon from 11:45 – 1 p.m. at Plymouth Congregational Church, Des Moines (42nd Street & Ingersoll Ave). The lunch costs $9, and reservations are required. Please call (515-279-8715) or email ( by Tuesday, June 16. This month’s speaker is Lori Rinehart, Executive Director of GeezLouise! (Growth, Education and Empowerment Zone) is a feminist agency working with women of all ages. Her topic:

Feminism is for everybody!

Feminism is political, economic and social equality between women and men. Feminism means women and men have access to the political process and their voices are heard.  It is especially important that we teach and model this to our young women and men.

What is the faith community’s role to make sure this happens?

From the Iowa Environmental Council:

“Embracing Iowa Dirt” is a workshop focused on the design, construction and management of sustainable, natural trails. It will be held Friday, June 19, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at Lake Ahquabi State Park in Indianola. Cost is $15 and includes lunch and materials. Open to the public, join Iowa’s city, county and state land managers for a discussion led by the Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew and supported the Iowa Department of Natural Resources on best practices in natural trails. Online registration for the event is open at now. In short, this workshop is for anyone who wants to learn about design, construction and management of dirt trails. For more information, contact Ryan Hanser, 515.229.3737,

From the Center on Sustainable Communities:

COSC will be hosting a series of workshops starting Friday, June 19, at the West Des Moines Affordable Green Demonstration Home in Valley Junction. There will be an on-site workshop at every phase of construction to illustrate affordable sustainable steps that can be taken in new home construction. The West Des Moines Affordable Green Demo Home is located at 927 Maple St. in West Des Moines. Visit our website for the tentative schedule and curriculum, and sign up early to reserve your spot!

Also on June 19th, there will be a PRIDE Patio Party at 6 pm at the Sheraton Hotel, 210 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City.

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